iBomber Defense Pacific for iPhone and iPad
The war moves to a new front in iBomber Defense Pacific, a sequel to the well-regarded tower-defense game from Cobra (distributed on the App Store by Chillingo). There may be no winners in war, but tower-defense fans who download this solid app will find plenty to enjoy.
The World War II-themed iBomber Defense took place in North Africa and Europe; in this sequel, the action moves to the Pacific Theater. On an assortment of battlefields, you arrange your weaponry—machine guns, cannon, flamers, and more—to repel the advancing enemy.
That’s pretty basic tower-defense gameplay, and iBomber Defense Pacific handles it well. What I like about the game, though, is that it adds other objectives. In addition to defending your base, each mission includes a secondary goal—bombing enemy positions, gathering supplies, setting up communication towers, and the like. Those extra goals add to the game’s challenge and replayability: I find myself going back to complete secondary objectives I wasn’t able to pull off the first time I played the game. (The game also features bonus missions you unlock when you reach certain levels.)
A good tower-defense game requires you to carefully weigh your strategic options, and that’s very much the case with iBomber Defense Pacific. You’ve got to decide whether to spend your resources on deploying new weapons or on repairing and upgrading the ones you have. The game gives you the option of digging in, boosting firepower and defensive strength but also narrowing your field of view. You can also upgrade your weaponry as you progress through the campaign.
Other tower-defense games have more graphical flair—I’m thinking specifically of the World War I-themed Trenches ( ) and its grinning soldiers. Players looking for an authentic war-gaming experience may appreciate iBomber Defense Pacific’s top-down view of the battlefield, but I found it visually dull. That’s especially true on the iPhone; the iPad version of the game at least gives you a wider perspective.
Still, the graphics aren’t the main attraction in iBomber Defense Pacific—this game is all about strategy. On that front at least, iBomber Defense Pacific achieves a decisive victory. A free version of the game lets users sample three levels of iBomber Defense Pacific to see for themselves.
[Philip Michaels is Macworld.com’s editor.]